Chris Blair, all 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds of him, stands in the middle of what could be a major rebound for the Monahans boys’ basketball team.

“We’re a different team from the one that started the season and Chris is the biggest reason for that,” Loboes coach Jordan Ashmore told Texas Scorecard. “As he’s gotten better and started to figure some things out we’ve started to find more of an identity for ourselves.”

The end result has been a tale of two seasons for the Loboes, who after starting the year at 2-13 have gone 4-3 over their last seven games, with Blair leading the team in scoring (14 points per game) and rebounding (12).

“He’s always been one of the best midrange shooters on the team and now he’s starting to get stronger on the inside,” Ashmore added. “He’s gaining muscle and I’m expecting yet another growth spurt from him before long.”

Ashmore is hoping to be able to say the same of his Loboes.

“We’re playing much better in District as all the new guys have finally started to blend in,” he said. “Realistically we think we still have a chance to finish at the top in our division and see where we go from there. When we’re going good, we feel like we can play with anybody in District.”

It all starts with Blair, who Ashmore said opens everything up for all his other teammates.

“We’ve gotten better at working the ball where we want it inside,” he said. “The guys understand the more the big guys touch it the more chances for everyone.

Ashmore also describes Blair as a “straight A student,” whose hard work is starting to pay off in every way.

“College coaches are starting to learn about him,” he said. “I think if he keeps working he will keep growing in both size and stature.”

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